SGA Historical Materials

US Imperialism – Primary Source document

Francisco García Calderón: Former President of Peru

Latin America: Its Rise and Progress

Writing from Paris – 1913

The United States have recently intervened in the territory of Acre, there to found a republic of rubber gathers; at Panama, there to develop a province and construct a canal; in Cuba, under the cover of the Platt Amendment, to maintain order in the interior; in San Domingo, to support the civilising revolution and overthrow the tyrants; in Venezuela and in Central America, to enforce upon these nations, torn intestine disorders the political and financial tutelage of the imperial democracy. In Guatemala and Honduras the loans concluded with the monarchs of North American finance have reduced the people to a new slavery. Supervision of the customs and the dispatch of pacificatory squadrons to defend the interests of the Anglo-Saxon have enforced peace and tranquility: such are the means employed.

The New York American announces that Mr. Pierpont Morgan proposes to encompass the finances of Latin America by a vast network of Yankee banks. Chicago merchants and Wall Street financiers created the Meat Trust in the Argentine. The United States offer millions for the purpose of converting into Yankee loans the moneys raised in London during the last century by the Latin American States; they wish to obtain a monopoly of credit.

It has even been announced, although the news hardly appears probable, that a North American syndicate wished to buy enormous belts of land in Guatemala, where the English tongue is the obligatory language. The fortification of the Panama Canal, and the possible acquisition of the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, are fresh manifestations of imperialistic progress.

The Monroe Doctrine takes an aggressive form with Mr. Roosevelt [The Roosevelt Corollary], the politician of the "big stick," and intervention à outrance [to excess]. Roosevelt is conscious of his sacred mission; he wants a powerful army, and a navy majestically sailing the two oceans.

Warnings, advice, distrust, invasion of capital, plans of financial hegemony – all these justify the anxiety of the [Latin American] peoples.

Primary Source excerpt and adaptation via:

Francisco García Calderón, Latin America: Its Rise and Progress (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913), pages 303-305.